The World Bank in the Kyrgyz Republic: 20 Years of Partnership
June 17, 2013
The World Bank has been a reliable partner of the Kyrgyz Republic for 20 years, from the creation of the market economy in the 1990s to the fight against corruption today. With support from the World Bank, Kyrgyzstan has achieved a stable macro-economy; rehabilitated roads, power supplies and irrigation schemes; bettered children’s test scores in rural schools; and improved access to basic health services for the poor. Today, the Kyrgyz people can take pride in their achievements…
Since the Kyrgyz Republic joined the World Bank in 1992, country assistance has been designed to support the transition to a market economy and provide a base for sustained growth. The World Bank provided significant budget support in the initial years of the Kyrgyz membership to ensure that essential public services would continue to function. In the 2000s, the Bank’s program included projects aimed at improving social services and national infrastructure.
In 2010, the World Bank led the Joint Economic Assessment to identify immediate emergency needs, organized the July 2010 Donors Conference, and tripled the amount of its lending in fiscal 2010-11, in order to respond to the country’s urgent recovery needs.
Since the conference, the Bank has approved $200 million in new projects, of which around $100 million is in grants. The Bank’s future strategy is to support economic and political stability by supporting the government's efforts to fight corruption, strengthen public finances, and improve social conditions.
Assistance to Rural Communities:
- Trading and promotion of Kyrgyz agricultural products have been facilitated domestically and abroad with sales of US$16.3 million between 2006 and 2011.
- 44 agro-processing enterprises have boosted their technological processes, food safety and quality management, and accounting. Nearly 260 farmer cooperatives have been trained in investment lending in agriculture, structured finance, and environmental management.
- 272 community seed funds and 450 water users’ associations have been established, and 122,000 hectares of irrigation schemes were rehabilitated.
- 580 micro-projects have been implemented by pasture committees: 304 bridges have been repaired, 650 km of pasture roads have been reconstructed, and micro-projects have been financed for grass re-seeding and introducing fertilizers.
- 2.7 million people have benefitted from the completion of about 6,000 micro-projects (drinking water, electricity, primary health facilities, construction and rehabilitation of schools).
- More than 64,000 local government officials and community members have been trained in budgeting and planning, and 1500 villages improved social and economic infrastructure.
- Infant and child mortality rates have begun to decrease, TB incidence and mortality have declined, and cardiovascular mortality among working age adults has stabilized.
- Vitamin A supplements have been provided to 120,000 nursing mothers and 450,000 children to reduce the food crisis’s impacts on children’s long-term physical and cognitive development.
- Government share of health expenditure relative to total expenditure has risen from 10.6% in 2006 to over 13% in 2011-2012.
- 'Single payer' system and Mandatory Health Insurance Fund have been introduced.
- Well defined state-guaranteed benefit package that clarified the respective roles of the government and individuals in funding health services has been introduced.
Energy Crisis Response:
- Power and heat generation volumes have been boosted through supply of coal handling equipment and repairing heat boilers at Bishkek Combined Heat and Power Plant during the 2010 energy crisis; additional thermal electricity and heat output during the last three winter seasons has also increased.
- Essential equipment and materials have been provided to power distribution companies to restore power to the damaged districts. Electricity supply has been restored to over 19,000 households in southern Kyrgyzstan.
- The impact of uranium tailings and waste dumps in affected areas has been reduced.
- Additional quantities of radioactive waste discovered recently have been relocated to safe repositories.
- 3,200 teachers have been trained and over 280 teachers have received fellowships to take up posts in remote areas.
- 1, 365 schools country-wide have been provided with school furniture; over a million textbooks have been supplied.
- Nearly all schools in Talas and Issyk-kul have been given grants worth $3,500 - $7,000 to help them purchase teaching-learning materials and equipment.
- Enabled all schools in Batken and Issyk-kul to adopt per capita financing, where schools receive a budget that is calculated based on the number of children enrolled. Schools have also been given the power and responsibility to manage their money, encouraging them to manage resources more efficiently.
Public Policy/Governance Reforms:
- Civil service system has been improved through the institute of State Secretaries, Civil Service Agency, and merit-based principles in recruitment.
- Government’s capacity to develop macroeconomic and fiscal forecasts has improved substantially.
- 21 sector-specific technical regulations have been adopted to streamline licensing and inspection for enterprises.
- In Bishkek, 21.5 km of roads have been constructed and rehabilitated, providing access to year-round transportation.
- In Osh, quantity and quality of water supply to residents have been improving.